Mirror’s Edge Catalyst [official site] looks prettier every time I see it. The latest trailers to emerge for the ultra-stylish parkour-a-thon series reboot cast their focus on movement and combat, and showcase the many ways in which protagonist Faith Connors will run and jump and leap and bound and punch and… maybe you’re best having a look for yourself.
Those you who played the first Mirror’s Edge many many moons ago will know movement and combat are its bread and butter. Much of the free-running, wall-balancing and rail-vaulting on show in the latest clips is pretty reminiscent of its first outing – albeit even prettier – however a new ‘Shift’ maneuver allows Faith to execute short bursts of pace in any direction. Combine this with the new ‘Quickturn’ move for short and sharp 180 or 90 degree turns, and you get something that looks like a bit like this:
One thing the original game failed to master was combat. In theory, knicking your enemies’ weapons and tossing them once they’d ran out of bullets was a neat idea, however it was awkward in practice and too often disrupted the flow of all that cool parkouring. Catalyst ditches weapons altogether, forcing Faith to rely on melee attacks and smart use of her surroundings, balance and gravity. She’ll build and maintain ‘Focus’, a status whereby enemies can’t attack her, before entering ‘Flow’ – a state of awareness that lets you fight in “new and more powerful ways.”
On top of all that, fancy gadgetry such as a Mag Rope, used for traversal, and a Disruptor, used to mess with AI systems, are at Faith’s disposal.
If any of that tickles your fancy, you might be interested in signing up for the Mirror’s Edge Catalyst closed beta. You’ll need an Origin/EA account and while there’s no sign of when it’ll actually run, it sort of needs to be soon-ish, given the full game is due to launch on May 24. For further reading, you might wanna check out Graham’s thoughts on the Catalyst demo he played at Gamescom last year.